Herrera Puts GCL Pirates One Game Away From Championship

The GCL Pirates beat the GCL Red Sox today 5-2 in game one of the best of three GCL Finals. Dilson Herrera led the offense by going 3-for-5 on the day with a double, triple, and a homer, falling a single shy of the cycle. Third baseman Eric Wood also had three hits, going 3-for-3 with a walk. Elvis Escobar went 2-for-4 with a triple. The pitching staff carried a 5-0 lead in to the ninth inning, and closed it out with a 5-2 victory.

Jon Sandfort started things off with three shutout innings, giving up just one hit and striking out one. Sandfort, who was taken in the third round of the 2012 draft, had a 4.80 ERA in 15 innings this year, with a 7:10 K/BB ratio. He had a few good outings, but mixed in two starts where he gave up five earned runs combined, failing to make it out of the first in each start. The 6′ 6″, 215 pound right-hander finished his season with two shutout innings on August 22nd, before today’s appearance.

Andy Otamendi followed Sandfort, throwing two perfect innings. Otamendi struck out one in his two innings. During the season he had a 3.98 ERA in 31.2 innings, with a 25:8 K/BB ratio.

The Pirates got on the board in the fifth inning after back-to-back triples from Elvis Escobar and Dilson Herrera. Escobar hit an RBI triple, scoring Luis Urena from first, and giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead. Herrera followed that up with a triple to bring in Escobar. The Pirates couldn’t score Herrera with one out, leaving him stranded at third.

Cesar Lopez came on to pitch in the sixth inning and had the best outing of the day. Lopez went three shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out five. That included striking out the side in the sixth, and making it four in a row with a strikeout to start off the seventh inning.

Another run was added in the top of the eighth inning. With one out, Wyatt Mathisen doubled to left field. Two batters later, Eric Wood doubled Mathisen home for his third hit of the day, putting the Pirates up 3-0, and giving them a very important insurance run. Dilson Herrera added some more insurance in the ninth inning, hitting a two-out, two run homer to put the Pirates up 5-0.

Martires Cadet came on in the ninth to close out the game. The left-hander had a 2.89 ERA in 28 innings during the regular season, with a 31:11 K/BB ratio. He gave up a one-out walk today, and allowed the runner to steal second. After a pop out to short, Cadet issued his second walk of the inning, and followed that with a two-run double, making the score 5-2. Luis Campos came on to relieve Cadet, and ended the game with a strikeout.

The Pirates will play the Red Sox tomorrow at Pirate City at noon, with the chance to sweep the best of three championship series.

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